Feeds

Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The debate over which battery brands work best is almost as old as dry cells themselves, but one US city has learned that it's definitely not a good idea to skimp when it comes to powering important municipal equipment.

Cash-strapped Detroit, Michigan – once the capital of US automobile manufacturing – has been looking for ways to cut corners since even before it was legally declared bankrupt by a US District Court judge in December 2013.

According to a report in the Detroit News, the city's finances are so tight that every little savings counts – even something as trivial as finding a cheaper supplier for the standard 9-volt batteries that power the city's 3,404 parking meters.

But such frugality has a price, city sources say, because the discount batteries that Detroit is using now don't do the job as well as the name-brand alkaline cells the city used before budget cuts took effect.

As a result – according to the office of the emergency manager, whose thankless job it is to oversee the city's ongoing fiscal crisis – on any given day, nearly half of Detroit's parking meters aren't working.

It's not just that the cheap batteries don't last as long. Apparently, they're also more sensitive to temperature, particularly when Detroit's frigid winters hit.

In icy conditions, they may give out significantly less than the full 9-volt charge, which can play havoc with parking meters' fussy circuitry. On an 8.2-volt charge, a meter might take money but not give out any parking time, and at 8 volts it will stop working altogether, one meter repairman told the Detroit News.

Dead meters mean Detroit loses more than just coins. Legally, the city can't give parking tickets to cars parked at broken or nonfunctioning meters. Each parking ticket ordinarily brings in $45, and 70 per cent of tickets go to nonresidents.

Add it all up, says Detroit chief operating officer Gary Brown, and the city is missing out on as much as $6m in revenue per year – all because it doesn't cough up the coin for decent batteries.

Consider that, the next time you're shopping for batteries for your smoke alarm. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.